Snackable Marketing and SEO: Your Guide to TikTok, Stories, Reels and Shorts
As our attention spans decrease and social media grows and shifts, short-form content has become a key to every platform. Typically lasting no more than a few minutes or seconds, short-form is designed to be consumed quickly and easily. Short-form content can come in different media, including videos, images or text. Using some or all of these creatively will make your short content a champion.
From TikTok videos and YoutTube Shorts to Instagram Reels and Snapchat Stories, snackable content has overtaken the virtual world. Let’s discuss what this leading form of content is, how it can be used for SEO and branding, and then get some tips on creating great short-form for your own marketing purposes.
How Does Short-Form Work with SEO?
Some of us think simply putting up fresh content regularly is enough, and that’s important, but it’s not really a big swing. Generating snackable content with an eye toward SEO means creating content that is both shareable and optimized for the social media platforms you’re going to post on. Each social media network has a slightly different spirit, so it’s important to focus on your end goals when creating content for each of them.
Keywords, hashtags and plenty of links to your website or other content are a must, but they’re just the beginning. For one thing, try brainstorming creative calls-to-action to encourage your audience to engage with your brand. But before we get into more examples, let’s talk about best practices.
Telling Your Story
Content of any length, for any purpose, should tell a story. Short-form content simply means shorter stories: A before-and-after reveal, a simple joke setup-and-punchline or a question or mystery and its answer or conclusion. You can even make clever use of video tricks and easy transitions for more fresh ways to let your story unfold.
And what is your story? The specific value proposition you bring to the market is part of your story. So are your company history, values and employees. You can highlight any of these aspects of your brand story with short-form content. Just keep your eyes on that final goal: Telling a compelling story in as little time as possible.
What’s this got to do with SEO? Everything! The second reason for your content, beyond telling the story you want to tell, is igniting interest in your brand, or in a specific service or product.
The sole purpose of SEO is to drive traffic where you want it to go. Your content should make a big impression and provide the easiest, smoothest ways for people to end up where you’re directing them. That could be a specific landing page offering a product or deal, an A/B test of pages against each other, your site’s blog or even your company’s About Us page.
The more specific your aim the better, as long as the way you portray your offerings also doubles as good content. To do that, you’ll need to design your content around the platform you want to explore. What works for an Instagram Reel might work as a TikTok, but it wouldn’t necessarily be a very good Snapchat Story. Let’s spend a little time on the differences between the platforms and the kinds of stories they enable you to tell.
TikToks, Stories, Reels, and Shorts are all popular short-form video formats designed to be consumed quickly and easily on mobile devices. There are plenty of similarities, but the differences between them are crucial: Let’s talk about each of them and how they can be used for SEO either directly or indirectly.
TikTok users create and share videos up to 60 seconds long, with an emphasis on music, effects and filters. TikToks are entertaining and often comedic, musical or dance-oriented. While TikTok videos aren’t directly indexed by search engines, they’re easily shared on other platforms and can drive traffic to your website or other social media pages with the classic “link in bio.”
Stories are now found on many platforms, including Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat. These are short videos or photos that disappear after 24 hours. They’re meant to be quick and disposable updates, and you should approach them in that context. By using relevant hashtags and geotags, you can increase the visibility of your Stories, which drives interest and traffic to your destination.
Reels on Instagram work like TikToks: short videos of 60 seconds or less. Reels are more generally used to showcase your creative abilities or share content that’s particularly appealing visually. What’s interesting about Reels is that they can affect your SEO on Instagram itself. By assigning relevant hashtags, you increase your project’s visibility on Instagram and attract new followers to your account. They’re great for generating buzz and showing off your newest work right away, when you’re proudest of it.
Shorts are YouTube’s answer to TikToks and Reels, up to 60 seconds long and easy to consume. YouTube’s vibe is more intimate and often more story-based than the others. They can easily connect users to your other platforms, like Twitter or Facebook. You can also use relevant keywords in your video title and description to improve visibility both on YouTube and on the main search engines themselves.
Mix It Up!
While it’s important to create content that suits each specific platform you’ve chosen to use, cross-posting them is always a great idea. A funny TikTok that’s also visually stunning, for example, can be ported to Reels. A great image from your Instagram account could be combined with logo or verbal content for a mixed-media TikTok. The purpose is to draw people into your overall brand and its platforms, so cross-posting is a great way to drive traffic directly.
Tips for Short-Form
Some best practices should be used across the social media spectrum if you’re looking to boost your SEO.
You should already know your target audience and keywords, and they are useful here. Think about search intent, different ways to ask the questions that only you can answer and what’s most likely to catch someone’s interest right away. This also helps the platform’s algorithm and search to understand what your content is about, which is essential to ranking in those results.
Just as with longer-form content like blogs, search ranks headlines especially high. Your titles and headlines should be attention-grabbing and front-load your keywords. Keep them short and to the point. Think about using numbers or other notable text elements to stand out.
Focus on Quality
Focus on providing valuable information to your audience, whether that’s an interesting story about your business or industry, a funny story, or your work itself. Be absolutely sure your content is well-written and free of errors. Triple-check yourself and always get a second or third set of eyes on it.
Striking images or video make content a great deal more engaging and shareable. Visuals can also break up text, which makes your content more scannable and thus digestible. Think about impressing your user with sights first, sounds second and onscreen words last.
Make It Smooth and Easy
This one’s key: Eliminate every possible point of friction between your target and the content you want them to see. Too many clicks or dead air and they’ll go back to scrolling. Also, keep all users in mind by making sure your content is accessible in a variety of ways. For example, making sure your video content has captions available, so everyone can follow along.
Remember, what earns you the share and gets you closer to that traffic is a mixture of the content’s purpose and the content itself. This means you’ll get shared and followed when you create something that’s fun, useful or interesting all on its own.
The fun thing about sharing short-form content is the opportunity for cross-promotion to drive even more traffic all across your own media. By using hashtags and tags you increase awareness of not just your brand, but your other hidden content treasures. Going viral on TikTok is fun and rewarding, and it’s a brand awareness win, but ultimately your content should always be driving traffic exactly where you want it. That means deciding on your goals before the fun begins.
Tips for Creators
Remember, your best tool for understanding social media is consuming it with your eyes open and brain engaged. By thinking about what content makes you laugh and what impacts you, you’ll soon build up a storehouse of your own creative ideas.
Keep your videos short and engaging. You’re just a flick of the finger away from the next video in your target’s For You tab. Keep it easily consumable, and don’t rely too much on visual words unless you’re sharing valuable information or cracking a joke..Try to be straightforward with your hashtags: remember, you’re going for relevant search intent as well as new followers. It’s not really the time to get cute, and few people will read your hashtags that deeply anyway.
Engaging visuals are the number one thing to remember here. You want to capture your audience’s attention, because you’ll only have it for a limited time. You can enhance your user’s engagement with polls, quizzes or by following trends that will pull your audience in. Not only do they get to feel a personal connection with your brand, but you get information on how they think and what they’re looking for! It’s a win/win. Similarly, think about creative ways to call for action, like keeping the answer to your question or resolution of the story behind a link to your site.
Most of all, though, use your time wisely. 24 hours is not a long period for a lot of people, who may only be checking their social media a couple of times a day. That means Stories should take less work, be cross-posted from your other accounts, or otherwise do double duty. If you are going to miss it in 24 hours, you’re probably spending too much effort you could be using to create great content for another platform.
Reels are a great way to showcase your brand’s personality and values, and the humans behind it, in a fun and engaging way. Reels are another place where search intent and hashtags matter a great deal, as you show up in relevant searches and win new converts to the brand. Reels are also vastly improved by using music or effects, which you can find right in the app.
Just like Stories require eye-catching visuals, YouTube’s Shorts require a dollop of creativity, because anything goes. It’s a relatively new platform, which means it’s easier to learn from but also to experiment with. If you are in the business of providing technical or business advice, Shorts are a great way to demonstrate your brand’s value. Optimizing your titles and descriptions is key here because text is the best way to help your videos rank on search pages.
Call on the Dallas SEO Dogs
When you’re making short-form for marketing purposes, focus on content that’s engaging, relevant and easily shareable. By optimizing your snackable content for SEO, using eye-catching visuals and staying on top of the latest trends, you can create great content that drives traffic. Start creating short-form content today and take advantage of this powerful marketing tool!
At Dallas SEO Dogs, we focus on creating unique and useful content for human readers and search bots alike. Authoritative content is challenging to generate, but we know our ideas can add value to your content and boost your site’s rankings.
Reach out today for a free consultation and see what the SEO Dogs can do for you.